Here’s how registered Duval County voters view local issues, per latest UNF poll

The University of North Florida recently conducted a poll with registered Duval County voters to see how they view local issues.

Voters were asked everything from local elections to crime, to even the Jacksonville Jaguars.

The results were released Thursday morning. Here are the findings:


Voters were asked if they support spending $1 billion on a new stadium for the team. While Jacksonville has a lot of Jags fans, according to poll results, most people aren’t a fan of the idea.

Poll results show that 70% of voters said they didn’t want to pay for a new stadium with 30% saying they were strongly opposed.

They were also asked about what they thought about the team owner, Shad Khan.

Only 38% said they approve of him — that’s down from 48% in May 2021.

General Manager Trent Baalke only had a 12% approval rating.

Of the people surveyed, 29% said they approve of the new Head Coach Doug Pederson, while 52% just don’t know.

The person with the highest approval in the Jags franchise is quarterback Trevor Lawrence, who received a 56% approval rating.

Of everyone who took part in the poll, 65% said it was still important to have an NFL franchise in Jacksonville.


The poll asked people what they think is the most important problem facing Jacksonville.

The most common response, according to UNF, was crime at 35%, followed by improving the Downtown area at 16% and improving transportation and infrastructure at 10%.

Only 3% of the people surveyed thought that COVID-19 was the most important problem, compared to 22% in June of 2020.

Voters were given an area to mention something else. UNF said affordable housing was among the top issues.


The UNF poll was conducted before the announcement Tuesday that curbside recycling pickup would return to Jacksonville on April 4.

Action News Jax reported when it was put on pause in October 2021.

Around 83% of people who took the poll said it was important that curbside pickup returned. About 63% said it was very important.

In another set of questions, voters were asked about renewable energy. Poll results show that 88% thought more renewable energy should be provided than what is currently provided by JEA.

However, when voters were asked if they would be willing to pay more for their utility bill for renewable energy, the majority — 69% — said no.


Voters were asked about the Feb. 22 election for City Council At Large Group 3.

The poll shows that city council candidates Tracye Polson and Nick Howland are neck and neck.

Up by just one percent, 50.3% of people said they would vote for Polson, while 49.7% said they’d vote for Howland.

UNF experts say voter turnout is really going to be the deciding factor because this is a tight race.

Most of those voters said they would definitely vote or had already voted in the city council either by mail or early voting.

“People with a history of voting in these types of elections lean more toward Howland, so Polson will need to make up for that with new voters in the coming days,” Dr. Michael Binder, a professor of political science and public administration, said.

They were also asked about their preferences for the 2023 mayoral and sheriff’s races.

Poll results show that Donna Deegan, a Democrat, had the greatest support, with 41% of the people surveyed saying they would vote for her if the election were held today.

About 20% of people said they’d vote for Republican Daniel Davis and 20% said they would vote for someone else.

When it comes to who they’d vote for to hold the position as sheriff of Jacksonville, 39% said they would vote for Lakesha Burton (Democrat) if the election were held today.

About 27% said they’d vote for Republican T.K. Waters, and 15% for Matthew Nemeth, also a Republican.


Voters were asked whether they believe that the City Council’s elected representatives should draw new maps, or that maps should be drawn by an independent panel made up of an equal number of Republicans and Democrats. The results: About 85% of those surveyed said they believe maps should be drawn by an independent panel, while only 15% said the City Council should do so.

STORY: Governor vows he won’t sign a map with ‘an unconstitutional gerrymander’ in it

When asked whether they trust City Council to draw districts fairly, 89% said not very much or not at all, and 11% said a great deal or a good amount.

“Given recent challenges to the City Council’s redistricting procedures, it’s not surprising that folks don’t have a lot of trust in the process,” Binder said. “With trust in the Council’s process so low, it’s no wonder that voters favor an independent panel.”


The poll asked people about job approval of various local officials. According to the results:

Jacksonville Mayor Lenny Curry’s approval rating was 47%. About 45% of people said they disapproved of the way he is performing his job and 7% percent said they don’t know.

Sheriff Mike Williams had an approval rating of 51%. About 36% disapproved, and 13% did not know.

State Attorney Melissa Nelson had a 38% approval rating, while 27% disapproved and 35% said they didn’t know.

The lowest approval rating was for Jacksonville City Council, with just 31% saying they approve either somewhat or strongly. About 57% said they disapprove of the job City Council is doing, and 12% said they don’t know.


“The UNF JaxSpeaks February 2022 Poll was conducted by the Public Opinion Research Lab at the University of North Florida from Friday, February 11 through Wednesday, February 16, 2022. The survey was administered through email via Qualtrics, an online survey platform. The email addresses used for this survey were sourced from the December 2021 update of the Florida voter file. The sample frame was comprised of 14,868 registered Duval County voters in Florida, 18 years of age or older. The number of completed surveys was 443. This study had a 3% response rate. The study has an overall credibility interval of +/- 4.7 percentage points. Credibility interval is used in place of margin of sampling error in this study due to the use of a non-probability sampling procedure. It is important to note that the credibility interval is greater within the smaller subgroups broken down in the crosstabulations.”

See other UNF surveys and polls here.

Aurielle Eady

Aurielle Eady, Action News Jax

Aurielle Eady is a digital content producer for Action News Jax.

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